Fascinating Titanic

Merci !

Annales corrigées
Classe(s) : Tle ES - Tle L - Tle S | Thème(s) : Mythes et héros
Type : Écrit LV2 | Année : 2017 | Académie : France métropolitaine




France métropolitaine • Juin 2017

Séries générales • LV2

Fascinating Titanic

document 1 The largest steamers in the world


White Star Line steamer sailing among other steamboats1 and sail­ing ships2 in New York City harbour, 1912

1. Steamboat: bateau à vapeur.

2. Sailing ship: voilier.

document 2 Working on the Titanic

Southampton, England

April 10, 1912

Helen Walsh was a short, slight woman with a permanent air of dissatisfaction about her. She fussed around her son now, brushing flecks of dust from his trousers and stray hairs from the shoulders of his jacket. He smiled at her, glad of the attention she paid to him and pleased to see the unmistakable look of pride on her face, pride in the fact that her son was to work as a steward on Titanic’s maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

“Not bad, love, not bad at all... for a Walsh,” she replied, tugging at his waistcoat to remove a slight pucker1 and pulling at his cap to straighten it. “Now, you remember to work hard, Harry Daniel Walsh,” she chided, “and mind that you look after those third-class passengers just the same as you would any of those wealthy Amer­icans. The poor might not have the hats and the fancy shoes, but they deserve to be treated good ’n’ proper, you hear?”

With her family roots set deep within the working-class society of Southampton’s docks, Helen Walsh had no time at all for the stuck-up American millionaires and socialites2 who, it was believ­ed, had chosen to sail on Titanic to make business contacts or to give them something to boast about at one of their dinner parties. Nevertheless, her background didn’t prevent her from being a proud mother, and she was absolutely delighted that her son was going to be one of the three hundred stewards who would work on this much-talked-about ship, taking great pleasure in telling all her friends and neighbors about it. And although the gossip-loving, spying-on-the-neighbors part of her would have quite liked to know exactly how ostentatious the first-class accommodations were, she was especially pleased that Harry had been assigned to steerage class, to look after people like themselves.

Despite his mother’s obvious delight that it would be Titanic that he would sail on, it hadn’t actually been Harry’s intention to work on the ship at all. He’d originally been assigned to work on a smaller liner, the Celtic, which should have left Southampton a week ago. As a result of the coal strike, she had been berthed3, along with most of the other transatlantic liners. Harry had got word, just a week ago, that he had been reassigned and would now work a round trip on White Star Line’s impressive new ship, Titanic.

Hazel Gaynor, The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic, 2014.

1. Pucker: faux pli. 2. Socialites: famous upper-class people spending a lot of time at fashion­able social events. 3. Berthed: immobilisé à quai.

document 3 Enjoying life aboard the Titanic

To Lily May Futrelle, her fellow travelers were “a rare gathering of beautiful women and splendid men.” A rare gathering it was—liner historians report that no other passenger list of the period ever featured quite as many celebrated names. For Lady Duff Gordon, the Titanic was “a small world bent on pleasure.” And it was indeed a smaller world than ours—the populations of the United States and Canada were a third of what they are today (and Great Britain’s a third less), and wealth and influence were concentrated in much tighter circles. Those who made ocean crossings regularly found acquaintances1 on the first-class passenger list.

But “bent on pleasure”? There was certainly a contingent of the transatlantic leisured rich on board, a recently evolved class of Americans who kept homes in Paris or regularly made the crossing for the winter “season” in London or on the Continent. But many of the liner’s first-class cabins were occupied by hardworking high achievers. The artist Frank Millet, for example, was on his way to Washington to help decide on the design for the Lincoln Memorial. His friend, White House aide Archie Butt, was heading home to prepare for a grueling presidential election campaign. [...] Lady Duff Gordon herself was a leading British couturiere who had urgent business to tend to at her New York salon. Within their lives and those of others on board can be found a remarkable convergence of the events, issues, and personalities of the age, forming what Walter Lord called “an exquisite microcosm of the Edwardian world2”.

Hugh Brewster, Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: the Titanic’s First-Class Passengers and their World, 2012.

1. Acquaintance: someone you know. 2. Edwardian era: period during which King Edward VII reigned (1901-1910), often associated with the glorification of luxury.

compréhension 10 points

Document 1

1 1. What is the function of this document?

2. What type of passengers does this document target?

2 Compare and contrast the steamer in the middle with the other ships (two elements).

What impression is conveyed?

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L composant au titre de la LVA.

3 Focus on the Statue of Liberty in the background. Why is it associated with the ship?

Give two elements.

Document 2

4 1. How are Helen and Harry related?

2. Describe Helen’s attitude towards Harry. Justify with elements from the text.

5 Why is it a special day? (two elements)

6 Explain what Harry’s job consists in.

7 How does Helen feel about Harry’s job? Choose two adjectives and justify each answer with a quote.

honoured – indifferent – dissatisfied – enthusiastic – jealous

8 True or false? Justify each answer with a quote.

1. Harry will work with all types of passengers.

2. A lot of people were recruited to work on the ship.

3. Rich passengers are said to travel exclusively for pleasure.

4. Harry volunteered to sail on the Titanic.

9 Focus on Helen.

1. What is her social background?

2. Focus on lines 12 to 16. What are the two pieces of advice Helen gives Harry?

How may her advice be related to her social background?

10 Explain Helen’s ambivalent feelings about the upper-class. Justify with two quotes.

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L.

11 How important is Harry’s new workplace...

1. for Harry himself?

2. for Helen?

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L composant au titre de la LVA.

12 In this context, what do the ways in which Helen calls Harry (“a Walsh”, l. 10, and “Harry Daniel Walsh”, l. 12-13) say about how she feels about the situation?

Document 3

13 What type of passengers does the document focus on?

14 Justify each of the following sentences with a quote.

1. Lily May Futrelle admired first-class passengers.

2. There were famous people on board.

3. Passengers often knew each other.

15 Focus on lines 14 “But many…” to 21 “… her New York salon.”

1. Copy the grid and fill in the blanks.





for travelling





Election campaign


New York City


2. How is this category of people portrayed? What makes them different from the other group mentioned in the document?

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L composant au titre de la LVA.

16 Explain why the ship is described as “an exquisite microcosm of the Edwardian world” on l. 24.

Documents 1, 2 and 3

17 Using elements from all three documents, compare and contrast the primary function and social functions of the Titanic in all three documents.

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L.

18 How do all three documents present the Titanic as an object of fascination?

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L composant au titre de la LVA.

19 Comment on the importance of representation and theatricality in the three documents.

expression 10 points

Les candidat(e)s des séries ES et S traiteront au choix le sujet 1 ou le sujet 2. (200 mots)

Les candidat(e)s de la série L ne composant pas au titre de la LVA traiteront au choix le sujet 1 ou le sujet 2. (250 mots)

1 Nelson Figgis / Nancy Little is a third-class passenger on the Titanic. While crossing the Atlantic, he / she writes in his / her diary about his / her motives for travelling and feelings about life on board.

2 Joseph Bruce Ismay, the head of the White Star Line Company, delivers a speech for the departure of the Titanic. Write the speech.

 Les candidat(e)s de la série L composant au titre de la LVA traiteront au choix le sujet 3 ou le sujet 4. (300 mots)

3 Famous writer Robert Louis Stevenson once said: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Discuss.

4 Joseph Bruce Ismay, the head of the White Star Line Company, delivers a speech for the departure of the Titanic. Write the speech.

Les clés du sujet

Document 1

La source

La White Star Line, fondée à Liverpool en 1845, fut l’une des principales compagnies maritimes britanniques. Elle est surtout connue pour avoir été copropriétaire du Titanic.

Pour en savoir plus www.whitestarhistory.com

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

Steamer : paquebot ; accommodation : hébergement.

Document 2


Hazel Gaynor est britannique. Journaliste indépendante, elle écrit pour des journaux et magazines irlandais. The Girl Who Came Home, publié en 2014, est le premier de ses romans historiques, traduits dans plusieurs langues.

Pour en savoir plus : www.hazelgaynor.com

Résumé du texte

Harry est sur le point d’embarquer sur le Titanic où il va travailler comme steward. Sa mère, Helen, est aux petits soins pour lui et lui donne des conseils : travailler dur et bien s’occuper des passagers de troisième classe. D’origine ouvrière, elle est partagée entre sa conscience de classe et sa fascination pour le mode de vie luxueux des passagers de première classe.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

To fuss (l. 2) : être aux petits soins ; fleck (l. 3) : tache ; maiden voyage (l. 8-9) : voyage inaugural ; to chide (l. 13) : réprimander ; fancy (l. 15) : chic ; to deserve (l. 16) : mériter ; stuck-up (l. 19) : snob ; to boast (l. 21) : se vanter ; gossip (l. 26) : commérages ; steerage (l. 29) : entrepont.

Document 3


Hugh Brewster (1950-) est canadien. Après avoir publié des livres pour enfants tout en travaillant pour une maison d’édition, il est devenu romancier à plein temps.

Pour en savoir plus : www.hughbrewster.com

Résumé du texte

Le texte présente quelques-uns des passagers de première classe du Titanic. Certains voyagent pour le plaisir, d’autres se rendent aux États-Unis pour raisons professionnelles, mais ils ont tous en commun une vie luxueuse et raffinée.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

To feature (l. 4) : inclure ; to be bent on (l. 5) : avoir un penchant pour ; achiever (l. 16) : personne qui a réussi ; grueling (l. 19) : éreintant ; to tend to something (l. 21) : s’occuper de.

Les points de convergence

Les trois documents évoquent le Titanic et l’image prestigieuse, luxueuse et fascinante que représentent la vie à bord et ses passagers.

Le sujet d’expression 1

Une direction possible

Le narrateur peut être un immigrant qui part pour les États-Unis afin d’y trouver une vie meilleure. Pauvre, il n’a qu’un minimum de confort sur le navire. Il ne peut côtoyer les passagers des autres classes, mais peut ressentir et envier le luxe dans lequel ils vivent.

Key ideas

To spend all your money to buy a ticket ; to hope to start a new life ; you can’t afford a cabin ; you have to spare on everything ; first-class passeng­ers live gilded lives ; to swear to be one of them one day.

Les sujets d’expression 2 4

Une direction possible

C’est le voyage inaugural du Titanic ; le discours est donc bien sûr à la gloire du paquebot, de sa puissance, de sa modernité et de sa sécurité. Sans oublier les autres navires de la compagnie, dont Ismay fera la publicité. Il pourra insister sur la démocratisation des traversées transatlantiques, puisque les passagers de troisième classe sont admis à bord.

Key ideas

The most powerful, the most modern and the safest of the company’s steam­ers ; a wonderful voyage across the Atlantic ocean ; the luxury of life on board ; the fastest link between the two continents ; social progress in the accommodation of third-class passengers.

Le sujet d’expression 3 (LVA uniquement)

Une direction possible

Les voyages sont formateurs. Quel que soit le lieu où l’on va, ce qui compte, ce sont les rencontres humaines, la connaissance de cultures différentes de la nôtre, de nouvelles expériences, de nouveaux horizons différents du nôtre. Certains parcourent le monde et traversent de nombreux pays, d’autres explorent à fond un ou deux pays, d’autres encore voyagent dans leur propre pays pour en connaître les moindres recoins, mais, dans tous les cas, partir de chez soi apporte un nécessaire dépaysement et un grand enrichissement culturel et humain.

Key ideas

Whatever the place you visit, wherever you go, you’ll find something new to learn ; what matters is what you learn on your way ; what matters is leaving home for new horizons ; a great personal improvement ; to travel around the world or explore a single country in depth.